Matt Smethurst|12:02 AM CT

Truth We Believe and Songs We Sing

Sound theology should shape everything we do in corporate worship. But what does that mean for music in particular? Don Carson recently sat down with worship leaders Keith Getty and Matt Boswell to discuss the relationship between the truth we believe and the songs we sing.

"The revival in theology many TGC leaders have seen in our generation has happened because they discovered and learned from leaders of previous generations," Getty observes. Losing our musical heritage, he warns, is a danger for our generation.

And though excellent worship songs aren't less than declarations of orthodoxy, they are considerably more. As Carson remarks, "It's easy to churn out orthodox theology; it's not easy to say old things in new and creative ways."

Boswell, editor of the new TGC Worship blog and contributor (along with Carson) to TGC's Songs for the Book of Luke album, explains his desire to approach texts—whether Scriptures or songs—like a pastor. "I want to feed my congregation out of my own soul," he says, "and to feed my soul by reading books of substance, depth, and richness." Along similar lines, Getty adds, "There are lots of young guys trying to write songs, but it's the responsibility of every pastor to feed his congregation a balanced diet and to oversee what is being sung."

Watch the full 10-minute video to hear why great melodies are like great restaurants, how J. I. Packer's Knowing God helps Getty write songs, and more. And look in September for the release of music from our 2013 National Conference in the new album Keith & Kristyn Getty Live at The Gospel Coalition.

Theology and Music from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Matt Smethurst serves as associate editor for The Gospel Coalition and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. You can follow him on Twitter.

  • Pingback: Truth We Believe and Songs We Sing | small town BIG GOD

  • Hamish Blair

    very thankful for Colin Buchanan in Australia.


    His theologically rich and sound lyrics are shaping our kids.

  • Rhoda Blaauw

    I've loved singing Psalms & hymns for many years and have several different Psalters & hymnals full of beautiful music that I never tire of. The best hymnal of all is the Lutheran Service Book. The hymns may be old, but speak of God, man, sin, Christ, judgment, salvation, redemption, mercy, and all the Scriptures contain. There is so much good and godly music available, and I don't think any of it needs to be re-written or refreshed. Like God's Word (KJV), most of these hymns, and all the Psalms, are already full of the height, breadth & depths that pass knowledge: wisdom, righteousness, salvation, redemption, joy, & comfort, and need no improvement But if musicians actually can write new godly music, that is wonderful too. I am thankful to see Christians who are desiring to write truly Biblical music, and can discern godly music from the modern pop songs of our day that are being called "Christian". May God bless your efforts.

  • Pingback: Links I like | Blogging Theologically

  • Pingback: Eternal Truth and Sacred Song - John Tidmore

  • Tom Houston

    I love these three men and many of the songs they have written. I am concerned, however, that though they mention the depth and breddth of the psalter, few modern writers are actually putting the psalms to music. I think that the psalms so so deep and most congregations are so shallow, that they don't know how to deal with the psalms. The solution, of course, is not to avoid the psalms, but to sing them until they are deeply ingrained in us and we love them as much (much more in fact) than we love some of our pet hymns.

  • Pingback: Truth we believe and songs we sing - The Layman Online